According to a July 18 Report by DataQuick, a real estate news service, the median price of a Bay Area home rose at the fastest pace on record in June. The article cited low mortgage rates, competition for a supply of homes that is limited by reduced numbers of distressed home sales, and the continuing improvement of the economy as factors in the rapid increase. According to the article, June's Bay Area median price of $555,000 represented a 33.1% increase over the same period in 2012, when it was $417,000. The article attributed 75% of the increase to rising home values, and the remaining 25% to changes in "market mix" or the types of homes sold. It went on to say that the median price of a Bay Area home peaked at $665,000 in June/July, 2007 and went as low as $290,000 in March of 2009. A chart accompanying the article showed Marin County sales volume of 375 units in June, up 13% compared to June of 2012. For the same period, the chart showed a median sales price increase of 14.6%, from $700,000 to $802,000.
Inventory of homes for sale at the end of June was 597 units for Single Family Residences, down 35.9% from 932 units in June of last year. This inventory represents only a 2.3 month supply of homes at the current rate of sales. Average Days on Market (DOM) were 59, down 25.3% from 79 days in June last year. For condo's, the figures were:Inventory, 119 homes, down 47.1% from 225 in June 2012. At the present rate of sales, this represents only a 1.6 month supply of homes, compared to 225 units last June, a 4.3 month supply at the time. Average DOM for condo's at the end of June were 64, compared to 73 in June of 2012, a 12.3% drop.
Looking at sales, as of July 22, in various Marin Cities and towns, reveals that market activity is not uniform across the County. Demand for homes in any given area is a result of many different factors, including price, commute, school systems, weather, amenities and so forth.
For those with deep pockets, there are still opportunities available in Belvedere and Ross---both, incredibly, still showing as Very Strong Buyers' Markets, with only 3.33% and 4.35%, respectively of homes currently listed on the MLS in contract. At the other end of the spectrum, Corte Madera, with 15 of 21 listed properties in contract (71.43%), leads the pack as a Very Strong Buyers' Market. Next in line are:
Greenbrae 59.09% Very Strong Sellers' Market
San Rafael 55.73% Strong Sellers'
Novato 50.23% Strong Sellers'
Kentfield 50% Strong Sellers'
Sausalito 46.67% Strong Sellers'
Larkspur 46.15 Strong Sellers'
San Anselmo 33.33% Balanced
Fairfax 31.82% Balanced
(Individuals who would like a spreadsheet of the figures for all the cities and towns, please send an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org).
June's selling prices for Single Family Residences were, on average, 103.1% of listing price (up from 99.1% in June last year). For condo's, the average sales price was 105% of listing price up from 101.1% in June of 2012.
The current market has been a very positive one for sellers, who have been selling their homes quickly and for good prices. The market is still not back to where it was in 2007, but it seems surprising that more potential sellers are not taking advantage of the current market conditions. Our opinion is that now is a great time to sell. It is not an "anything goes" scenario though. Sellers still need to prepare, present, and price their homes carefully.
Buyers need not be discouraged. Prices are still below their peaks and mortgage interest rates are great. Buyers who are persistent and patient are finding and buying homes. It just takes dedication and a little more work.
For both Buyers and Sellers, an experienced REALTOR who knows the local market is an invaluable asset.
More next time.
Until then, best wishes to all,